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Mitch McConnell
  U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell on Justice Kennedy Retirement Replacement  CSPAN  June 28, 2018 7:38pm-7:42pm EDT

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order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. >> today the senate passed the farm bill. the legislation sets farm, conservation nutrition and rural development policies through 2023. it also legalizes commercial hemp production for industrial use. the senate version of the farm bill does not include a provision passed by the house that would have expanded work requirements for people who receive benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program also known as snap. several senators came to the floor to speak about the retirement of supreme court justice anthony kennedy and the future of the supreme court. >> i want to take another opportunity to pay tribute to justice anthony kennedy who announced yesterday that he will retire from active service and
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assume senior status at the end of july. justice kennedy deserves our sincere thanks for his service and our congratulations on a truly remarkable career. he's served our nation on the federal bench for 43 years. 30 of which spent as an associate justice of the u.s. supreme court. his contributions to american jurisprudence have been many, in particular, he earned our gratitude for his steadfast defense of the vital 1st amendment right of political speech. so we congratulate justice kennedy and his wife mary and their entire family on this well-earned retirement. we wish them every happiness during the additional time they get to spend together in the years ahead. as i stated yesterday, the senate stands ready to fulfill our constitutional role by offering advice and consent on president trump's nominee to fill the vacancy that justice
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kennedy's retirement will create. the senate will vote to confirm justice kennedy's successor this fall. this is not 2016. there aren't the final months of a second term constitutional lame luck -- lame duck presidency with a presidential election fast approaching. we're right in the middle of this president's very first term. to my knowledge nobody on either side has ever suggested before yesterday that the senate should only process supreme court nominations in odd numbered years. the situation today is much like when justice kagen was confirmed in 2010, and when justice briar was confirmed in 1994 and justice suitor in 1990. in each case the president was about a year and a half in to his first term. so just like in numerous other oe case -- occasions, the
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process to confirm the successor will take place this year. as in the case of justice gorsuch, senators will have the opportunity to meet with president trump's nominee, examine his or her qualifications, and debate the nomination. i'm confident chairman grassley will capably lead the judiciary committee through the confirmation process that lies before us. the president's nominee should be considered fairly and not subjected to personal attacks. unfortunately, far left special interest groups are already calling on senate democrats to oppose anyone, anyone on president trump's long list of potential nominees. the ink wasn't even dry on justice kennedy's resignation letter before my friend the democratic leader seemed to echo that right here on the floor that none of the exceptional legal minds on this list would be tolerable to him. think of that, mr. president.
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these are 25 americans from all over the country who have excelled in their professions. the idea that any of them, let alone all of them, would be automatically unacceptable is totally absurd. unfortunately, i'm afraid this may be a precursor of all the unfair attacks to come both from inside and outside the senate. fortunately, we have every reason to expect an outstanding selection. president trump's judicial nominations to date have reflected a keen understanding of the vital role that judges play in our constitutional order. interpreting the law fairly, applying it even-handedly, setting aside personal preferences and assessing what the law actually says. these traits have characterized the excellent nominees the president has sent to the senate. i look forward to